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Dauphin Way partners with Russian church plantcomment (0)

April 3, 2008

By Rebecca J. Capone

Although Yuriy Baranyuk can speak pretty good English, Russian is the tongue in which he thinks, prays and preaches best.

It’s a gift that was pretty uncommon among the members of his church family when he joined Dauphin Way Baptist Church, Mobile, in Mobile Baptist Association in 2006.

So Baranyuk, who had served as a pastor in Moldova for about 13 years and led the construction of seven Baptist churches there and in Ukraine, decided to put the gift to good use.

He planted a church.

It started with three Russian-speaking families meeting in his and wife Efrosinya’s home and soon grew to six families.

The Baranyuks reached out to more and more families and as a carpenter for a large construction company in Mobile, Baranyuk also shared his faith on the job, said Terry Stephan, missions director for Dauphin Way Baptist.

“He is God’s man at work and in the pulpit,” Stephan said.

As the home Bible study began to burst at the seams, Clint Pressley, senior pastor of Dauphin Way, learned of its need for a larger meeting space through Stephan.

“[Baranyuk] is such a humble man he would not have ever asked me to have it at Dauphin Way,” Pressley said.
But the church was delighted to offer him the space, Pressley noted.

“Since he and his family moved to Mobile, they have been among the most faithful members at Dauphin Way. … We are very glad to have them as they are wonderful Christian people.”

The Russian church — with members representing four countries — has met at Dauphin Way in Room 214 at 4:30 p.m. on Sundays since late November 2007.

Most families who attend the Russian church service also attend Dauphin Way on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.

Baranyuk said he wanted to offer a place where local Russian-speaking people could continue Russian traditions and an opportunity to be in a church service where they could understand the language.

He also wanted them to continue learning about Christ.

During the weekly church service, everyone is involved. Members share what is on their heart with each other, mostly in Russian but Ukrainian is sometimes spoken as well.

Baranyuk’s eldest son, Ruslan, said church members often read a poem or thoughts they wrote down during the previous week.

Ruslan Baranyuk plays the piano, and the 15–17 church members sing Russian hymns from a book with no notes, only remembered melodies.

As pastor, Yuriy Baranyuk prays with the congregation and usually shares a message after a church member reads Scripture.

Ruslan Baranyuk said they partnered with Dauphin Way because “we like how this church is exactly how we believe.”

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